Yes, once again this isn't a book about the job search, except that it's a book dealing with stuff that's pretty central to my job search, so that line's going to blur some from where I'm sitting. However, if I didn't think this had anything that was generally applicable to The Job Stalker readers, I wouldn't have it up in here (really, check my book review blog if you don't believe me!).
Admittedly, Seth Godin's Free Prize Inside: How to Make a Purple Cow doesn't even explicitly touch on the job search, it's a book about "going to the edge" and making one's product/service "remarkable" ... and it occurred to me that what he's talking about in this could just as easily be applied to one's "personal brand" as to a box of cornflakes.
Speaking of which, when this first came out (in 2004) it was packaged inside a cereal box ... being the titular "free prize inside", and was a follow-up to Godin's "Purple Cow" which came in a milk carton ... obviously he's an expert at "pushing the boundaries" of how products are presented. I wish I'd been able to bring an author interview to you here, but on a book that's been out for six years (even the reprint edition I have is several years old) and isn't being presented to its "core audience", it's hard to justify reaching out.
According to Godin, one's "free prize" is what makes you stand out, but to find this you need to "go to the edge" ... the process of what he calls "edgecraft" has two steps: 1. Find an edge - a free prize that has been shown to make a product or service remarkable. and 2. Go all the way to that edge - as far from the center as the consumers you are trying to reach dare you to go. ... "The goal of edgecraft is to find the free prize worth paying for."
Where can you find these "edges"? They're in all sorts of forms, The Network (putting a camera in a cell phone so you can share images), Ergonomics, Public Usage (the Scion, the uglier it is, the more it's recognized), Variety, Time (Disney World's fabulous FastPass program), Packaging, Sensuality, Technology, Design Aesthetic, Safety, Do Less (MTV Unplugged), Fixing What's Broken, Who Sells It, Convenience (or Not), Sales Method, Hours of Operation, among another couple of dozen examples of "dimensions" he details where one can find the edge.
Obviously, none of this is directed at the job search, but combining the dynamics of Godin's "edgcraft" with the current mania for "personal brands" provides a lot of food for thought about how those of us out there "pounding the pavement" might be able to become "remarkable" ... plus it's a fun read. More details, as always, over in my review!